Current State of TT in North America

Re: Current State of TT in North America

Postby dileTTante » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:29 am

Adding to Marquette's post, a response often heard from visitors at the train show was that they were already committed to another scale. Maybe so, but maybe we didn't impress them enough. Last spring Mark's Brawa electric and the Kres passenger set attracted a lot of interest. Robert, who visited that show, saw the Brawa e-lok, and ended up joining TTNut, helping us in November and buying a starter set.

We had a Tillig starter set on display and I suggested the starter set whenever there was interest, but there was no place to go buy one. I had considered putting together a small starter set to give as a door prize but it's beyond my abilities in time and money at the moment. As a door prize it would be a no risk way for someone who visits the show to begin TT scale.

So possibly there are two approaches, some impressive models of quality to attract the serious modeler, and something basic and good and easy to obtain for the beginner.

The next train show here in Vancouver is a one day affair featuring model dealers more than layouts. It would be good to have products to promote. A solid N. American locomotive pulling a string of freight cars would impress everyone. A small set of N. American rolling stock and a switcher (at least) diesel locomotive, all readily available, would be attractive, too.

However, being at the show to sell TT mechandise isn't the same as being there to promote the scale. At the moment anyone who is trying to manufacture TT scale products is doing so mostly to help the hobby and not to get rich (!), so promoting these products at the show would be worthwhile. But giving a sales pitch and taking orders is another matter. I'm there for fun. Just saying.
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Re: Current State of TT in North America

Postby Arseny » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:35 am

I am afraid the price of the "American starter set" will be too high..
Peresvet (or TT-model?) tried to produce "Russian starter set", but refused this idea

Maybe try to issue such set in collaboration with the Gold Coast? It seems to me that their steel boxcars are excellent and would be suitable for such set.
Maybe also Peresvet's flatcar, if "americanize" it. :)

An, so far as PVM ceased the production, we need some open hoppers and/or gondolas. I am sure it's very attractive if you have a wagon and can put something INSIDE it!
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Re: Current State of TT in North America

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:51 pm

So the bottom line is:

Rolling stock.

Got it.
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Re: Current State of TT in North America

Postby Marquette » Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:36 pm

Well, that. But I think exposure is as if not more important. We could build up an availability of product to rival HO, but if only we know about it, it won't get the scale very far.
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Re: Current State of TT in North America

Postby jmass » Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:50 pm

were any of conducters freight cars modeled at the vancouver show? if so what was the response? i would think for a future show, a small set consisting of either a gp 38, or the u30c, with a gold coast boxcar, and a tank car and a gondola or covered hopper as a starter set. by the way, is there anything new with the gp 38?
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Re: Current State of TT in North America

Postby scaro » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:06 pm

i think people in the US and australia too, i might add, have been conditioned to think that a model railroad scale is in business if it has an F7, a 40' box and reefer, a gondola, and either a tankcar or hopper, and a caboose.

call it the bachmann or tyco influence. sounds dumb, after all, none of those things can be seen on the rails anymore so far as i know, but marklin kept US Z alive for about 30 years with that combination.

you can add to that a set of horribly inaccurate streamlined passenger cars for the F7s to pull around ... but rokal already did that and they got copied into N ... and probably Z too.
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Re: Current State of TT in North America

Postby ConducTTor » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:04 am

I love the idea of a set but I'm not quiet sure yet how it would work out. It will require the cooperation of several different people at least. I have some ideas floating around in my head but they're not ripe enough for sharing yet.

About the gp38 - Al, I hope I'm not stepping on any toes - it's moving slowly. But there is a push to accelerate things.
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Re: Current State of TT in North America

Postby areibel » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:13 am

ConducTTor wrote:About the gp38 - Al, I hope I'm not stepping on any toes - it's moving slowly. But there is a push to accelerate things.


Nope, not stepping on toes at all. The first test castings should be coming from NZ very soon :dance:
We'll look them over, if all's well then our caster can start cranking them out!

Starter sets have been discussed for as long as I can remember, even to the point of someone suggesting buying up the stock of Tillig T sets that were in Conneticut for years and using US proto stuff in place of the European. But start adding it up- Felix's boxcars are around $38 for an RTR ( and that's the only RTR piece of the set so far). A couple of the ConducTTors shapeways cars, they're really reasonable but they'd need assembled, painted, couplers, etc.. Locomotive? The cheapest would be a PVM F3 or GP9, if you can find one or start cranking them out yourselves, they were around $100 if you could find the Lionel cheap. A GP38 will be more, right now with an etched fold up chassis, Bull Ant trucks and a Mashima motor you're at about $175, I -THINK- the shell will be between $50 and $60 including the etched detail sheet and all parts (shell, cab, fuel tank and sideframes) but we won't know for sure until we're sure everything is good to go. So it'll be easy to hit $250 once you add couplers, U joints and drive shafts, etc.. There may be a much better option coming in place of that particular chassis, but I can't say yet! And you'd still need a loop of track and a transformer- along with getting everything assembled, painted and decaled, packed and sold- and you need some sort of a warranty program for anything DOA or broke. So roughly $400 for a starter set? We're not there yet!!!

Not to say that I'm depressed, or worried. Nope. I'm more optimistic now than I was two or three years ago. I really thought TT was going to be like American OO, a strictly collectors scale. But the Shapeways offerings are out there now, for anyone that's interested. We have two new locomotives close and a few more in various stages of development, that's light years ahead of where we were. We can't brag yet, but soon there will be enough available to take to a show and let guys get their hands on it, that's when we'll start to see converts. We can paraphrase an old Rhodesian army saying- "Be a modeler among modelers- TT Scale" ?
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Re: Current State of TT in North America

Postby Arseny » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:15 pm

If you guys will make American TT starter set, it will be a great thing!
Even in Russia there is no any "national" starter set, only German (Tillig or Roco).
But I am afraid it will be very expensive...

The GC's boxcars are $35 for the old versions. Maybe Felix can give you a discount?
For example, Peresvet provides 10% discount for sale on show.

Tillig usually put "simplified" versions of cars and locomotives in the starter's set. Maybe use simplified versions too? For example, without under-car equipment, with simplified lettering, etc?

But I think the main problem (and the main part of the cost) is the locomotive. Agreed with you, Al!

As for tracks - Tillig provides some rail sets, it will be cheaper. And you can contact with other rail manufacturers...
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Re: Current State of TT in North America

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:29 am

My FAVORITE topic! When the board first started I had conversations with myself (I had 3 different accounts and user names). I also felt the need to answer every single comment so it doesn't go into a "black hole". Things are changing. There are no regular conversations which require my comments to stay alive.

I thank you guys for making this a success - YOU are the success. Thank you to everyone that's supported what I'm doing. Thank you to those who've smacked me over the head when I wanted to shut the site down because it didn't have many members and not enough ongoing conversations.

This is now truly NA TT's website and I'm happily relegating myself to custodial duty.

I'm locking this topic because NA TT is really - really - dead :)
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